RHP Phil Hughes (8-3, 3.03 in 2009)
LHP David Price (10-7, 4.42 in 2009)
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Temperatures could get into the 60s and the sun is supposed to be shining through a few clouds this afternoon. It’s been windy the past few days, and today shouldn’t be an exception.
UMPIRES: HP Marty Foster, 1B Mark Carlson, 2B Andy Fletcher, 3B Chad Fairchild
ON THE LINE: This will be the first spring appearance for both Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, the top candidates for the final spot in the rotation. Hughes will start, with Chamberlain scheduled to pitch right after him.
NO NICK: After feeling some stiffness in his lower back yesterday, Nick Johnson is likely out of the mix for this game.
THREE FOR THREE? Brett Gardner, Jamie Hoffmann and Ramiro Pena were the only Yankees to start each of the first two spring training games. They started in different positions each time.
PRICE IS RIGHT: Rays starter David Price was 7-7 before winning three of his final four starts last season. His last start of the year was a win against the Yankees. He allowed two hits in seven innings. Phil Hughes also pitched in that game and allowed three hits in one-third of an inning.
UPDATE, 9:23 a.m.: A few notes from the clubhouse.
• Nick Johnson can still feel the stiffness in his back, but “very little.” He did some exercises to loosen the muscles this morning. “After those exercises, it loosened up pretty good,” he said.
• Kevin Russo is scheduled to play today after missing the past two days because of an illness.
• Elliot Johnson is part of the traveling roster for the Rays. He’s the guy who slammed into Francisco Cervelli and broke his wrist two years ago.
• Highly touted prospects Tim Beckham, Jeremy Hellickson and Reid Brignac are also with the Rays today. Desmond Jennings is not.
• Scheduled to come off the Yankees bench: C Jesus Montero, 1B Juan Miranda, 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez, 3B Kevin Russo, LF Reid Gorecki, CF Greg Golson, RF Jon Weber, DH Jorge Vazquez. At some point this season, that could very well be the starting lineup for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
UPDATE, 10:40 a.m.: With David Price starting for Tampa Bay, Curtis Granderson should get at least one more at-bat against a left-handed pitcher. He needs to get more and more so that he can re-evaluate his offseason progress against them.
“As of right now I’ve had eight total pitches against a left-handed pitcher since I’ve been here,” he said. “I can’t take anything good or bad out of these eight (pitches) considering I’m not ready to go and those pitchers aren’t ready to go. Everybody is working on stuff right now just trying to get themselves ready to go, and once we get enough at-bats in and they get enough innings in, then we’ll be able to have a little better evaluation.”
Granderson saw three pitches from lefty Paul Maholm in the spring opener, and he saw five pitches from Kei Igawa during live batting practice.
UPDATE, 12:44 p.m.: It’s actually a pretty nice day for a game. The wind is still blowing, but it’s a little warmer than it was the past two days. A few players have been called to the front of the home dugout to have pictures taken (bat on their shoulder, frozen after a swing, taking a knee, that sort of thing). Right now it’s Greg Golson’s turn. They must feel a little bit ridiculous doing this in front of a few thousand people.
UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Sean Rodriguez is fighting for a job with the Rays, and he just took Hughes deep for his third home run of the spring. The wind might have helped carry the ball out to center field. It was just barely over the wall.
UPDATE, 1:37 p.m.: That’s probably it for Hughes. 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR. A lot of hard hit balls in the air, but he also threw a nice changeup to Ben Zobrist.
UPDATE, 1:51 p.m.: Nick Swisher was checked on the field after an odd collision with Chris Richard at first base. The catcher made a snap throw to first and caught Swisher off the base, but in the dive back to the bag, Swisher kind of collided with Richard and stayed on the ground for a while. After a long conversation with the medical staff and Joe Girardi, Swisher stayed in the game.
UPDATE, 1:54 p.m.: Television replays suggest it was Swisher right wrist that was hurt, but he’s still in there playing right field. Chamberlain is pitching.
UPDATE, 1:56 p.m.: Chamberlain is struggling but just got bailed out by a great play from Robinson Cano, salvaging a bad snap throw from Francisco Cervelli and turning it into an out at second. A colleague just described it as “Robby Alomar play.”
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Cervelli gets revenge for the broken wrist of two years ago by stretching a double into a triple. Great hustle on that play.
UPDATE, 2:23 p.m.: Chamberlain’s day is done after a ground-rule double that sent Nick Swisher tumbling into the bullpen. Kevin Whelan in to pitch.
Not a very good day for Chamberlain. Two triples, a double and three walks. Three earned runs so far, and two of his runners still on the bases.
UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: Hughes: 33 pitches, 18 strikes. Chamberlain: 33 pitches, 14 strikes.
UPDATE, 2:41 p.m.: Kei Igawa in from the bullpen to save the day, getting Ben Zobrist and B.J. Upton in order to strand the bases loaded. Who called it?
UPDATE, 3:12 p.m.: Chamberlain just estimated that he was at 60 or 70 percent today. He threw a short bullpen on Wednesday, but otherwise hasn’t worked out in three days. That might have played a part in today’s outing. Or maybe it was just an early spring game with him still trying to find his stride. Or maybe he was just bad today.
UPDATE, 3:22 p.m.: Cervelli: “Next time, they will hit my glove. Don’t worry.”
UPDATE, 4:24 p.m.: The writers have now been in the clubhouse for well over an hour. It’s hard to follow the game too closely from down here, but it was fun to stand with Christian Garcia and watch R.J. Swindle flip super slow curveballs.
Phil Hughes told us he was happy with his offspeed stuff today, especially his changeup, but his fastball command was bad. He threw three straight changeups to Ben Zobrist.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: That’s it. The game got slower than a Swindle curveball in the late innings, and ended with a 12-7 Yankees loss. Getting Girardi in a few minutes.